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We will remember those human beings of all nations who lost their lives and those who lost loved ones in all the chaos that surrounded 9/11 and its aftermath. . .


2008 Update

And the beat goes on. UCITA continues to show up via license clauses. Have you read your licenses lately? At all? Check out State of Governing Law. If it's Maryland or Virginia, you might want to watch that product VERY closely.

2007 UCITA Update

As of October, 2007 we have located over thirty software license documents that clearly designate Maryland or Virginia as the "State of Governing Law" for the agreement.

If any of your licenses has this clause content, YOU could easily be licensed under the incredibly dangerous UCITA legislation. The restrictions permitted under UCITA could be extremely damaging to your use of the products.

Your Bottom Line is This: If a copyright holder inserted the UCITA clause in your license, they did so because they intend to cite UCITA when the need arises. Sadly the incredible US courts system has upheld the right of a copyright holder to cite ANY state of governing law it chooses. Either way, you will lose.

Action Item: Immediately review your licenses to identify which ones contain Maryland or Virginia as state of governing law. Be prepared with a risk mitigation plan should the copyright holder choose to play UCITA games.

Action Item: Now and in the future, do not accept ANY license document that designates a UCITA state as governing law.

UCITA is detailed on the bottom 2/3 of this page.

Pirates Cover April.jpg (45051 bytes)Have you read the Number One

Business Resource for 2007?

UCITA is certainly an excellent example of flawed legislation, but it is nothing compared with the dozens of local, national, and international laws & agreements business technology consumers must address every day.

These legislative actions capture companies like ours in a copyright & non compliance web of secrecy and enable enforcement players to set the rules of the game.  It is time to take back control of our own technology environments.

Modern Pirates, by Alan L. Plastow, is your primary defense against being blind-sided by an enforcement audit.  This book provides you with clear strategies for ensuring that you do not violate copyright and, if you are actually under audit, strategies for conducting & preparing your audit for submission.

Read the Table of Contents & Sample Chapter

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Our focus has shifted from consulting to delivering knowledge to software and technology asset managers around the world. We are helping you build a communication network of asset managers to share knowledge and build this profession. Come join us--at no cost. Become part of the solution:


Nation-Wide Threat

"World-Wide Consequences"

Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act

UCITA - Originally formed as an attempt to modernize the Uniform Commercial Code and upgrade shrink wrap license documentation. This page will be utilized to point you to sites which detail and document the issues surrounding this controversial Act. 

Some UCITA Bottom Lines:

Essentially UCITA permits copyright holders -- specifically software and operating systems to LEGALLY deliver to your products that are known to contain nearly every high risk problem that you -- the consumer -- can envision.  This legislation is overwhelmingly favorable to the software publishing industry and underwhelmingly NOT in favor of the business technology consumer. Some examples? 

You can receive product that contains: Known Defects; Known Bugs; Possible Viral Coding; Included Remote Disabling Code; Does Not Function; or Does Not Function as Sold; and more...

The Software Management Professionals at The Business Technology Consumer Network are against UCITA for multiple reasons. The overall picture, however, relates to the legislative tone of the Act itself.  We firmly believe that, should UCITA gain a foothold, the costs and risks related to utilizing software will increase exponentially.  This Act will be crippling to the average business and thoroughly unacceptable to large corporations.

It's happening already! In many cases of software piracy, license non compliance or even simple disagreements, some software publishers are citing Maryland's & Virginia's UCITA as legal precedent in states where the Act is not valid. Since UCITA is (theoretically) the only legislation that addresses some very unique issues, it can be used by software publisher legal teams to influence favorable rulings--rulings that definitely spell significant financial problems for the business technology consumer.. 

To this end, we urge you to become familiar with UCITA and to aggressively oppose any UCITA related legislation. Remember: If you do not draw that line in the sand--and keep it there--the sharp practices being used in the world of software asset management and anti piracy will eventually become the sharp practices they'll be using on you.

Relevant sites:

UCITA goes back to the drawing board - Patrick Thibodeau, 6 August, 2001, Computerworld / InfoWorld Article.

Looks like the effort is making headway.


Published UCITA Issue - "Users look to FTC for help in reigning in UCITA", Patrick Thibodeau, COMPUTERWORLD, 26 October, 2000.   

Blue Cross / Blue Shield of New Jersey (UCITA is not in force there) is involved with a software vendor from Maryland (UCITA is in force there) which is demanding that BC/BS adhere to the UCITA limitations.  Think your company is safe?  Think again.


AFFECT, Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions - (2001)

You might want to consider becoming involved with this organization - or at least listening to what they have to say.  AFFECT is a . . ."National coalition of industry leaders, libraries and consumer organizations dedicated to educating the public and policy makers about the dangers of UCITA."


How Serious is the UCITA threat? - "FTC to study software-licensing practices", Patrick Thibodeau, COMPUTERWORLD, 20 October, 2000.   

If FTC becomes involved, will UCITA begin to take on a more balanced representation of consumer rights vs. software publisher rights?


Take a look at "Stiffing" - This practice has been in existence in the mainframe arena for quite a while.  Of interest - The very issues that the mainframe consumers have been frustrated about are those issues UCITA will bring to the client server and desktop market.

Stiffing - "Software Scams Grow", BBC Online Network, 10 June, 1999

This is an important article.  Though (somewhat) dated, this article introduces the process of "stiffing": Arbitrarily over-enforcing individual elements of a software contract.


Stiffing - "Key user gives glimpse of secret stiffing techniques", Computer Weekly News, 25 May, 2000.

Look closely at these examples of "stiffing" in the mainframe world.   Compare them to the provisions of UCITA.  Can you see a resemblance?   UCITA will open the door to sharp practices in the client server and desktop world.


Reference Site - INFOWORLD's UCITA resource page.

An excellent source of background information on UCITA.


Article - "Bad Legislation", by George Beach, CIO Magazine, 1 October, 2000.

In 1.5 pages, Mr. Beach provides a nice overview of the history of UCITA and discusses several "impact" issues.


Article - "Protection from flawed apps demanded", M.J. Zuckerman, USA Today, 23 November 1999

Around four pages.  This article discusses additional threats: limitation of liability, elimination of public criticism, disclosure of warranty and licensing before sale, and restriction on right to sue.  The last pages discusses two court cases relating to licensing.


Article - "Software law could be a hard sell", M.J. Zuckerman, USA Today, 7 June, 2000.

Details process by which Virginia legislature passed UCITA.  Introduces the concept that "the state that passes the best law will be utilized as a model for others."  Good read and informative.  Review the sideline - It provides details of threats and (possibly?) how they will be reduced.


Article -"UCITA group backs off provision in software licensing law - somewhat.", Patrick Thibodeau, COMPUTERWORLD, 9 August, 2000.

Self-help provision (also known as the software bomb) in UCITA is "modified" by drafting committee to exclude mass market consumer.  However, this will be of little use to corporate consumer.


Article - "The UCITA: An Act Designed to Squash Your Rights", Christi Frum, Inc Magazine, 19 May 2000

Well written.  Good background information.  Lists groups who have spoken out against UCITA.   Details many problems from different perspective.    Provides, "what to do next" commentary.


Reference Site - Computer Professionals For Social Responsibility

Good information relating to UCITA and Intellectual Property Rights.  Documents national and international legislation related to issues.


Article - "As Bill Matured Users Not Heard", COMPUTERWORLD, Thomas Hoffman, 26 July, 1999

Interesting point of view of "draft" process of UCITA.  Synopsis:   Two or three advocates for consumer, developers, & etc. spoke out on issues vs. "100 folks" on behalf of the software, movie, and book industry.


Top of page.  More to come!


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Last modified: December 23, 2002